Hyundai is one of the biggest names in the Motor Industry, and it introduced its vision for robotics, metamobility, and the metaverse at its CES 2022 booth in Las Vegas. The company shared how its robotics business will benefit the future of mobility, and go beyond the traditional means of transportation to make journeys. Representatives from Boston Dynamics also joined Hyundai at the event, where they showed off several “Metamobility”, and “Mobility of Things” (MoT) concepts to the public.
The main theme at the event was “Expanding Human Reach”, where Hyundai Motor showed off the “future vision of how mobility in the real world can be advanced with robots, and offer a glimpse of the future robotics society where robots will connect the virtual and real worlds together.”
Robotics & Metamobility
“Robotics is an essential part of Hyundai Motor’s transformation into a smart mobility solution provider.” The company acquired Boston Dynamics back in June, 2021, to help sharpen its focus on advancing robotics and enhancing people’s lives by offering a wide variety of mobility solutions.
Hyundai also revealed its new concept of “Metability”, which aims to bring mobility and virtual reality (VR) much closer to each other. The company says it would allow people to overcome the physical limitations of movement in time and space, and it intends to become the new medium between the real world and virtual spaces.
Hyundai also said that it envisions robotics, AI development, and autonomous driving will eventually merge together to create a more advanced technology that can be used to diversify mobilities and serve as a smart vehicle for access to the metaverse platform. Companies are already using autonomous driving technologies in existing cars, and there are also delivery robots using complex AI algorithms to make people’s lives easier.
“At Hyundai, we are harnessing the power of robotics to achieve great things. We envision future mobility solutions made possible by advanced robotics — even expanding our mobility solutions to Metamobility,” said Euisun Chung, the Group’s Executive Chair, during his presentation. “This vision will enable unlimited freedom of movement and progress for humanity.”
Unlimited Mobility of Things
The company also revealed its plans for creating an advanced mobility experience with an unlimited Mobility of Things (MoT) ecosystem, and it showcased several robots and concepts at the event.
“We are directing all our robotics engineering and creative efforts toward building the unlimited Mobility of Things ecosystem,” said Dong Jin Hyun, Vice President and Head of Robotics Lab of Hyundai Motor Group. “The goal is for robotics to enable all kinds of personal mobility, connected to communicate, move and perform tasks autonomously.”
The new concept would enable the movement of “traditionally inanimate” objects using the company’s robotics technology and solution. The company showcased new modules that would offer an all-in-one solution to the Mobility of Things ecosystem. These modules would be called the Plug & Drive (PnD) and Drive & Lift (DnL).
The new PnD modular platforms offer an all-in-one mobility solution that combines intelligent steering, braking, in-wheel electric drive, and suspension hardware. The single-wheel unit can use a steering actuator for infinite wheel rotation and turn 360-degrees. The platform would enable holonomic movement, like a figure skater, says the company. The vehicles would also have LiDAR and camera sensors built-in to allow object tracking and autonomous navigation both indoors and outdoors. The module could also be attached to just about anything, including tables to containers, and there would be a wide variety of configurations and different platforms to fit objects of any size.
The Personal Mobility concept includes a platform with four 5.5-inch PnD modules. The concept device measures 133 cm wide and 125 cm long by 188.5 cm high. This Purpose-Built Vehicle (PBV) provides last-mile mobility for one, single passenger, and it can be configured with a rotary opening and closing method. The device can be used with a smart joystick that’s placed on the right side of the seat, and it wouldn’t require any steering wheels or pedals.
The L7 concept is another mobility concept that comes with a 12-inch PnD module, and it’s very similar to the Personal Mobility concept where the seat can rotate, and the passenger can easily get off the device.
Service Mobile and Logistic Mobile concepts also use the same platform and four modules as the Personal Mobility concept. These devices can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including the transportation of customers’ luggage in hotels, while Logistics Mobility could be used to transport goods from warehouses.